Senators Vow to Block All Nominees

Shannon Hicks April 29, 2018 2

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Our nation’s capital is often referred to as the swamp in part for its political factions, bureaucratic battles and interagency turf wars. Recently two U.S. senators recently vowed to block any nominees for several key vacancies at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin-both Democrats- vowed to put a hold on all HUD nominees, including the appointment of Brian Montgomery as Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration. The Senators sent a letter to HUD earlier this month requesting a response no later than April 18th.

“As long as hundreds of Illinoisians’ lives are stuck in turmoil because of rash decisions that HUD fails to effectively or fully explain, I will object to every nominee Donald Trump sends our way,” said Senator Duckworth. Some of the agency’s current vacancies include the FHA commissioner, secretary of policy development and research, and the secretary for public and Indian housing.

At the root of the debate is HUD’s recent announcement to close two public housing developments in Thebes, Illinois. The agency said they do not have the funds to fix them. What most don’t know is that HUD does not directly manage public housing properties but rather relies on local housing authorities. Enter the Alexander County Housing Authority. In early 2016 allegations surfaced of…

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  1. John A. Smaldone April 30, 2018 at 10:04 am - Reply

    This is a crime! All these boycotts are a major disaster for the American people.

    People like Durbin and Duckworth as well as most of the Democratic party these days have only their own self interests at heart!

    We have no one to blame but we, the American people as a whole for putting these people in office and keeping them there as long as many of them have been.

    HUD is a disaster and needs a major overhaul just like VA and many other departments.

    If we, the American people don’t stand up and fight to change the “Swamp” as one puts it, we are in for devastation as well as one day becoming a socialistic nation.

    God, we have to let President Trump do his job and accomplish what he set out to do to make this country back to resemble some what of what it was, great!

    The only way this will happen if enough American people will write, e-mail and make enough noise to their US congressman and senators and tell them to stop, stop what they are doing to this wonderful country and the people living here, tell them, all of you smart people in the reverse mortgage industry, spread the word, get people to react, time is our enemy, we must act, now!!!

    John A. Smaldone

  2. James E. Veale, CPA, MBT April 30, 2018 at 11:37 am - Reply

    As a strong supporter of HUD financial integrity, it is hard to hear that the operations at this project lacked sufficient record keeping.

    It is not surprising to hear Illinois is the state where the project is located. When people are fed up with the problems they face in the Chicago region especially, it is common to hear the phrase: “That’s because it is all mobbed up.”

    As to his general attitude towards working with the current administration, many describe Senator Durbin as an obstructionist.

    Senator Duckworth has not shown her concern about corruption in the things she supports Here is her chance and she sides with the tenants and not with HUD in trying to disengage from what appears to be a very problematic multifamily project. As the former CFO for a multifamily builder (projects ranging from 40 to over 120 units), these projects are impossible to manage without proper controls including adequate record keeping.

    It angers me to hear of the incompetence of the prior Administration in overseeing this project. There are a lot of simple things that must be followed and if not, the whole project can get away from the owner as it appeared to have happened here.

    The estimate of architects are not very accurate. We had our own estimating team who understood the type of projects we did and thus oversaw the whole contracting bid process. It was my job to see to it that contractors did not load up their bids with add on’s and that we did not make duplicate payments. This required strong and up to date record keeping.

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